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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

HOSPITALS NEED TO RAISE THEIR CYBER SHIELDS

Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated even while more and more of the world’s transactions and intellectual property are being created and stored in the digital space. The result is an increase in threats to companies as well as the tangible and non-tangible consequences that follow.

The increasing expansion of technology into our hospitals may come with a price. Recently, we have witness a good number of cyberattacks on hospitals across many nations. This lends worry of more attacks to hospitals as they keep deploy new technologies and mobile devices for clinical communications.

Despite new secure device investments, 82% of hospitals expressed concern about their ability to protect mobile devices, patient data, and infrastructure from cyberattacks such as malware, blastware, and ransomware – New released survey has reviled.
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NOTE: About 38% of hospitals have invested in a smartphone-based communications platform for staff communication, but 82% of hospital IT staff and healthcare professionals are concerned about their ability to protect against cyberattacks
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The survey of more than 100 IT and healthcare professionals working in hospitals found that more hospitals are moving to mobile: 38% of hospitals had invested in a mobile communications platform for doctors, nurses, and other staff to discuss clinical matters on. The average size of deployments was 624 devices.


Often, the devices are integrated with existing hospital tech like patient monitors and electronic medical records. These phones usually have secure messaging systems and stringent policies and procedures for use

Even with that investment, hospitals are still paranoid, Hackers are getting cleverer, and the amount of dollars hackers can get for each medical record is only increasing in price.
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NOTE: Hospitals are often targeted by cybercriminals due to out-of-date computer and security systems, and due to the wealth of information and medical records they have stored.
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Further complicating security matters is the fact that many staff members still use personally-owned devices to communicate about patient and work matters. 

Hospitals surveyed reported concerns about these mobile devices, since many have inadequate password protection and security software, and rely on unsecured SMS messaging for communicating about patients. Personal phones often use public Wi-Fi and cellular networks that could potentially make them susceptible to attacks, the report found.


Hospitals must diligently protect patient health data, such as patient names, birth dates, social security numbers, diagnoses, tests, and insurance information. if the breach involves more than 500 patient records, the hospital is strongly advised to notify the local media.

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NOTE: Experts recommend hospitals to create a mobile security strategy and staff training regimen to encourage compliance, as well as installing endpoint security systems to protect against cyberattacks.
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TARGETING HEALTHCARE

Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are often singled out by cybercriminals due to antiquated computer security systems and the amount of sensitive data on file.

Hospitals are an easy target, and hackers can make a lot of money from them. Healthcare is always laggard in adopting technology, which creates an imperative—you can't be willy-nilly deploying complex solutions. You need to be precise.

In 2015, there were more than 230 healthcare breaches that each impacted the records of 500-plus individuals, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

A February ransomware attack launched against Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in southern California locked access to certain computer systems and left staff unable to communicate electronically for 10 days. The hospital paid a $17,000 ransom in Bitcoin to the cybercriminals, said CEO Alan Stefanek.

About 25% of hospital data breaches originate from mobile devices, the Spyglass report found.

Hospitals need to have an overall mobile security strategy, with policies and procedures that ensure staff compliance. Hospital IT staff should discourage using personal devices or other workarounds that could endanger patient information, he added. Staff can also work with vendor partners to minimize risk and proactively deploy tech solutions that secure endpoints.


We are seeing hospitals make investments and leverage mobile technology to improve the productivity and efficiency of care providers. But it has to balance out against the risk.